AFRICA – This week, the International Mission Board’s Sub-Saharan Affinity has committed to pray for and encourage missionaries serving with the North American Mission Board in the week leading up to Easter Sunday and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
Just as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering supports IMB missionaries, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering supports North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionaries. One hundred percent of both offerings supports Southern Baptist missionaries.
This Monday, Daren Davis, the leader for Sub-Saharan Africa missionaries, introduced their week-long emphasis in a weekly devotional. In his devotion, Davis urged the group to keep their focus during this season on a gracious God who desires for the message of the gospel to champion thoughts and actions. Missionaries were encouraged to read Galatians 6:9: “So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (HSCB).
Using the chapter and verse number, personnel in Sub-Saharan Africa were challenged to pray for NAMB missionaries at 6:09 each day. Leadership also encouraged missionaries to reach out, by email or phone, to a NAMB missionary to pray for and support them in the days leading up to Easter.
Many missionaries in Africa already had connections with NAMB missionaries. For those who didn’t, they were directed to NAMB’s website to find contact information.
Andy Pettigrew, the affinity stateside associate for Sub-Saharan Africa, said as fellow church planters, they want to stand in support and solidarity with missionaries in North America.
“In times of great struggle, I can’t help but think about the scene in [the movie and book] Lord of the Rings when the beacon of Minas Tirith is lit. When they sound the cry for help, the others around Middle Earth answered,” Pettigrew said. “As co-laborers in other parts of the globe, we want to say that, as we labor for the furtherance of the church around Africa, we are with our fellow workers in North America as well.”
IMB President Paul Chitwood echoed the need and desire to stand together.
“I am beyond thrilled to see so many of our overseas missionaries, of their own initiative, giving to the Annie Armstrong Offering, especially this year. Never has the need for the gospel been greater in our nation and we are seeing evidence that [the coronavirus] is creating a new openness to the gospel,” Chitwood said.